Hadlow Rural Community School in Context FINAL by P83R4KN


									                   Hadlow Rural Community School in Context

The information in this briefing note is based on the application submitted to the DfE
in February 2012. The successful Headteacher Designate will be expected to
provide leadership and advice on how the proposal can be improved.

Hadlow Rural Community School
Hadlow Rural Community School (HRCS) will be a new Free School offering a
unique type of education to meet specific demand in Hadlow and across the local
area. The proposal to open a new secondary school was submitted to the DfE in
February 2012 and approved by the Secretary of State for Education to enter the
pre-opening stage. Subject to the Funding Agreement, the key document signed by
the Secretary of State and the Trust, HRCS will open on 1 September 2012. The
pre-opening stage includes a pre-opening budget which will enable the new
Headteacher Designate to be appointed from January 2013, two terms in advance of
opening. This is a crucial period in which the Headteacher Designate will be
expected to lead the preparations for opening supported by a range of professionals
experienced in education and in all aspects of opening new schools.

Our Educational Vision for Hadlow Rural Community School
Our vision for Hadlow Rural Community School (HRCS) is to create an outstanding
school where students are prepared for all aspects of life in an ever-increasingly
global world - academic and vocational and beyond. We will do this though
establishing an ethos based on core values and a curriculum which is new,
innovative, unique to this area of West Kent and fully meets the needs of future
generations of pupils, their families and the community.

The establishment of HRCS on or adjacent to the Hadlow College site will enable
local pupils and those from further afield to follow an innovative land-based series of
pathways from the age of 11 through GCSE or equivalent into post 16 studies and
onto degree courses – all within one location. Students will be expected to achieve
high standards in all areas of study and there will be a particular focus on science,
mathematics, ICT and business.

Pupils joining HRCS in Year 7 will enjoy the rural environment with modern facilities
and through to age 16. There will be additional places for other students to join in
Year 10.

The facilities will be established on or adjacent to magnificent 1,000 acre site
occupied by Hadlow College with a wide range of animals, agriculture, horticulture
and other relevant learning resources. The Hadlow College site is open and staffed
24 hours per day every day. The HRCS school year will mainly follow the LA
calendar but maximise the pupils' attention span and energy levels, by teaching in
shorter blocks, while minimising the learning that is lost over a longer summer
holiday and at other traditional break times. We will operate for 51 weeks of the year
to provide additional support and opportunities for students and families. We will
provide additional interesting opportunities for the pupils' personal development and
love of learning to be enhanced through e-learning and other new technology

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                    Hadlow Rural Community School in Context

The Admissions Arrangements, included in the original application, have been
further developed and submitted to DfE for approval. HRCS is committed to
participation in the Kent Coordinated Admissions Arrangements as far as possible
for September 2013. There will be a single point of admission to Year 7 and further
places made available for students wishing to start in Year 10.
1. The school will admit 30 pupils into Year 7 in September 2013 as part of the
   Kent coordinated admissions arrangements. Each Year there will be a further 30
   places admitted to Year 7 in September.
2. A further 15 places will be available in Year 10 for pupils seeking mainstream
   education (not alternative provision). These pupils may be
   a. Already on roll in other secondary schools but without access to the range of
       options for example in a grammar school but wishing for a more vocational
   b. Recommended by the Kent Admissions Service or West Kent AC PRU for a
       place in a mainstream school but NOT requiring Alternative Provision
   c. Recently arrived in the area.
The West Kent AC PRU Manager, part of the team working on setting up HRCS, is
committed to the concept of the school providing a complementary provision to that
offered by the local schools and by the PRU. The HRCS proposal is for mainstream
provision with a unique and innovative curriculum model. It is not Alternative

The school will reach full capacity (Y7 – Y11) in September 2017. This admission
pattern reflects trends in parental preferences, the forecast growth in secondary pupil
numbers to 2019-20, performance and destinations data, and demands from

The initial marketing of the school attracted considerable interest from parents of
children eligible for admission to Year 7 in 2013 and 2014. Should demand exceed
the number of proposed places the DfE may consider a greater admission number.
Marketing will be a key part of the role of the Headteacher Designate.

Aspirations for pupil and whole school achievement
Our aspirations for HRCS as a whole school and for each pupil are ambitious and
appropriate. We believe, supported by parent views and DfE data that our children
can perform better when they are motivated by inspirational teaching in a well-
equipped rural environment. We will set ambitious targets based on baseline
assessments of each pupil and ensure every pupil is inspired and supported to reach
or exceed those targets. Our pupils are entitled to an excellent start to their
secondary education.
Success of our proposal will be evident initially in

   opening on time in September 2013 and with each passing month, a highly
    successful school
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                    Hadlow Rural Community School in Context

   with full enrolment and
   every pupil achieves their best in academic performance and in other areas such
    as music, drama, sport, other personal interests and community service
   Ofsted judgement of outstanding in first and subsequent inspections.

It is essential that all pupils have achieved minimum standards in literacy, numeracy
and ICT as key elements in progression through KS3 and KS4. We will focus on
teaching of reading, language and communication with targets set for all pupils to
be reading, writing, and numerate and ICT skilled to at least age appropriate
levels by the time they are 12 years old (end of Year 7).

Attainment in English, Mathematics and Science will be assessed against National
Curriculum standards half-termly, termly, annually and at the end of each key stage.
This will inform each child’s intervention programme including intensive literacy and
numeracy. At the end of KS3 and KS4, children will sit the National Tests or
equivalent including GCSE.

We expect every pupil to achieve their full potential with a minimum target of:

   Progress expected from external assessments e.g. CATs, FFTD estimates
   5+ A*-C grades at GCSE including English and mathematics
   Achieving English Baccalaureate
   At least 1 BTEC Level 1 qualification in KS3
   At least 1 BTEC Level 2 qualification in KS4

In addition, we expect every pupil to gain at least one certificate that will assist future
career paths and or demonstrate in CVs employability e.g.

   Food Hygiene Certificate
   Pesticides Application Foundation Course (PA1)
   Foundation First Aid / Emergency First Aid at Work
   Safe Felling of Small Trees

We expect gaps in attainment to be smaller than in LA and DfE performance tables.
All gaps to be narrowed and closed wherever possible including

   Boys and girls
   Vulnerable children e.g., Looked After Children
   Ethnicity
   Specific groups e.g., pupils with SEN, EAL or FSM
Through inspirational teaching, monitoring and intervention we expect whole school
achievement to be above Local Authority and England averages with an aspiration
for top quartile performance.

In addition we will use less measurable indicators to assess overall success. We
would like to see for all pupils

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                    Hadlow Rural Community School in Context

   All pupils achieved Community awards for their participation in Community
    Projects – 1 per year of their school life with HRCS
   Learn a new language
   Learn to play a musical instrument and make music together (class, school, other
   Eat healthily and exercise
   Develop important life skills
   Demonstration of broader understanding of the world e.g. international

Working with Hadlow College
Hadlow College is one of the three largest land based colleges in the South east of
England. Based in the village of Hadlow, near Tonbridge in Kent it is very successful
and was judged by Ofsted as outstanding in 2010.

The Ofsted report June 2010 stated:

       Learners achieve outstanding outcomes and very much enjoy their learning
       The care, guidance and support of learners are of the highest quality
       The college’s social inclusion agenda is at the core of activities to extend its
        provision to groups of learners who otherwise may miss opportunities to
        experience its offer
       Support and guidance for learners are outstanding
       Leadership and management are outstanding. Senior managers and
        governors successfully promote a culture of high aspiration and service to

With the same ambition and drive for excellence for every young person, the College
wishes to set up a Free School to provide opportunities for young people to access
education through rural provision. This will provide an alternative curriculum for those
young people for whom land based is a first choice route and for those that have
found it difficult to access a traditional education.

HRCS will be an independent organisation and work in partnership with the College
to provide high quality education for secondary age students. The College is
committed to supporting an innovative and creative curriculum, founded on
established outstanding provision, designed to support and encourage all its pupils
to achieve their full potential and to enable them to be economically active as
workers at all levels, innovators and entrepreneurs. The College believes that, as an
outstanding land based college, it has the capacity to deliver this vision through an
extension of its current curriculum and the strong leadership that exists within the

Ethos and Curriculum
HRCS will open in September 2013 with entry for 30 pupils to Year 7 and 15 pupils
to Year 10. This phased approach will allow HRCS to provide the very best teaching

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                   Hadlow Rural Community School in Context

and learning using experienced staff newly appointed to the school and supported by
experienced teaching staff of Hadlow College to ensure that all specialist teaching
such as English, mathematics, science, technology and MFL is high quality.
Additional support for school functions including administration, financial
management, facilities management and others will be provided through Hadlow

This approach will ensure a secure and confident start in providing high quality
education with a strong focus on the core values and avoid losing focus on high
quality provision whilst setting up new systems in a new organisation. The proposed
growth of the school will ensure an orderly progression in the numbers and age of
pupils, the numbers of staff and the range of opportunities available for all pupils
aged 11 – 16. The 11-16 age range has been selected to provide a natural
progression into the current 16+ age group at Hadlow College or to other local
school sixth forms, colleges or training establishments.

HRCS will have a positive learning culture based on core values that will
underpin the ethos of the school. Hadlow College is inclusive, with a current
curriculum offer ranging from Entry Level 2 to Higher Education (Level 6). There is a
strong focus on facilitating progression and inspiring all learners to achieve their
potential and progress into meaningful employment. This ethos will be extended into
the HRCS promoting strong core values through all its activities, recognising the
qualities of each individual and promoting a culture of self-belief and respect.

Our ethos will be focused on trust, high expectation, achievement and excellence.
HRCS will enable many more young people to attain much higher standards than
they currently have access and opportunity to. Our proposal will establish a legacy
for the future through providing high quality education accessible to all which will
enhance their future life prospects. Our vision will be delivered in an ethos with core
values continuously modelled by staff and developed and embraced by children,
enabling them to become excellent role models and citizens of the community.

Our core values are

      Excellence
      Open and Transparent
      Honest and Reliable
      Professional and Efficient
      Inclusive and Welcoming
      Responsible and Accountable
      Supportive and Caring

Hadlow College has developed extensive partnerships with schools in the local area
through the Increased Flexibility Programme (IFP) and has continued working with
schools since the end of IFP. The proposals intend to add value to the traditional
school curriculum and provide progression routes into further education and
ultimately into higher education which are well established at the College. It is

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anticipated that parents and employers in the rural community will influence the
curriculum and delivery models and provide on-going engagement with HRCS.

HRCS will offer the opportunity for young people to learn through a practical
curriculum which would support the development of the English Baccalaureate
curriculum through an innovative delivery model. The land based curriculum is
focused on science and this, along with English and Maths would form the key
subject areas. Science and Geography may be incorporated into the curriculum
through a thematic approach to conservation, sustainability and global issues related
to the land based industries. Modern foreign languages may be developed through
the curriculum and delivered to support the achievement of the English
Baccalaureate and development of the international context of land based education.
This curriculum will be innovative, cater for the different learning styles of young
people and support them to achieve their potential.

HRCS recognise that some young people are able to achieve vocational and
practical qualifications at a higher level that their literacy and numeracy which may
develop at a slower pace. The proposed curriculum structure would enable such
students to achieve higher level practical qualifications whilst developing their basic
skills at a pace that suits them as an individual and in a meaningful and applied
context. This approach will develop skills, recognise the value of practical
qualifications and increase self-esteem and engagement with education. Through
this method of delivery it is intended that young people should be able to recognise
their own skills and abilities and aspire to further achievements within the College or
in the world of work. Employability and entrepreneurship will be a key feature in the
ethos of the school.

The curriculum will be broad and balanced. It will promote the spiritual, moral,
cultural, mental and physical development of pupils through the curriculum and its
delivery in the rural location of Hadlow College. It is intended that the school would
be located on or adjacent to the current College site, in Hadlow village, set in 1,000
acres of rural land. This would enable the infrastructure of the College to support
HRCS and further develop the strong community links that already exist.

Teaching and learning will focus on high expectations and inspirational teaching
intended to stimulate and develop a lifelong love of learning and enable pupils to
acquire the values, behaviours and qualifications required for the next stage of
education and employment and lives as young adults and responsible citizens of the

A distinctive feature of HRCS will be the delivery of core curriculum through the
vehicle of land based education. This would enable young people to be educated
through a wide variety of practical activities in a stimulating outdoor environment.
The facility will offer bright, stimulating learning spaces and combine traditional
classrooms with practical working spaces and state of the art learning resources.

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                   Hadlow Rural Community School in Context

The use of e-learning including mobile devices will be a key feature enabling
students to learn in a wide variety of ways and to take their learning out into the rural
environment creating the concept of ‘outside classrooms’. It is intended that the use
of a range of new technologies would be employed and that students would be
encouraged to utilise remote access to extend their learning in non-traditional
settings and at home. This access to remote learning will also support any learner
who may not be able to attend school e.g. for health reasons and this will enable on-
going contact with the student and the parents to ensure work is set and marked
remotely and that on line tutorials support the student to achieve. The school will be
actively developing the existing College relationship with Apple to secure high quality
equipment for its pupils and develop innovative approaches to learning.

The opportunities post 16 will be offered in a wide range of land based courses
including sports/outdoor pursuits. Impartial advice and guidance would be offered to
learners to ensure that appropriate progression routes are promoted throughout the
College and into other institutions where appropriate.

There will be strong links with Connexions to provide impartial advice and guidance
throughout the school and thus encouraging young people to aspire to continue their
education or progress into employment with training. HRCS will make a significant
contribution to NEET prevention and reduction through its admissions policy and
participation in locally agreed In Year Fair Access and Managed Move protocols.

Parental Involvement
HRCS will seek to engage and involve parents in all aspects of the school operations
from parent governors to curriculum design, supporting the delivery and in particular
for all parents to support and encourage their child to succeed. Parents’ evenings
and meetings will feature within the school calendar and parents will be encouraged
to visit the school at other times to ensure that they are kept fully informed of their
child’s progress. The curriculum will be extended to actively engage parents/carers
in their child’s learning and progression through their education.

Global Links
Hadlow College has excellent international links and runs educational visits on an
annual basis to Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa as well as many visits to European

The opportunity to extend such experiences into HRCS will be exploited and these
educational visits and exchanges will enhance the core curriculum and provide a
sound basis for understanding the importance of languages in a global economy.

Community projects in these countries as well as locally will enable young people to
understand global issues and the importance of global citizenship, having a sense of
their own role as a world citizen, respecting and valuing diversity and understanding
how the world works economically, politically, socially, culturally, technologically and

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                   Hadlow Rural Community School in Context

Imaginative use of new technologies will be used to bring these communities and the
rest of the world into the classroom providing a broad understanding of international

Community/Business Links
The College already has strong links with local employers and the local community.
It is intended that these links with employers will be developed to provide young
people at HRCS with experience of business and entrepreneurship through visits,
speakers, work placements and internships. The College Business Advisory Council
will be extended to incorporate the school links and a strong focus will be on the
development of employability skills and progression into employment along with the
development of entrepreneurial skills.

The College has a range of commercial enterprises including a garden centre, farm
shops, dog grooming, equine centre, commercial fishing lakes, a milk co-operative
and three working farms all of which are commercially run. These will offer
opportunities for a range of experiences including supported work placements and
entrepreneurial projects.

The Business Unit in the College will be used to support the development of
business related skills through the school curriculum delivery.

Community projects in the local area will provide students with the ability to
understand their role in the sustainability and improvement of their community.
Activities such a developing community allotments, creating an environmental
garden for the local school etc. are projects that would be extended to support
students in understanding the economic and social values of such activities. The
school will seek to create valuable land based partnerships such as the RHS School
Garden scheme, to benefit both pupils and the local community. Pupils would be
encouraged to join organisations such as Young Farmers and to participate in
relevant and stretching activities such as Young Enterprise competitions.

HRCS will develop these principles throughout school life, across all subjects and
within all age groups. They will be seen as the foundation of a holistic education and
as a fundamental entitlement for all pupils.

Delivery Mechanisms
We will achieve the vision and ethos through learning from the experience of others,
building our own capacity and employing rigorous project management. We see
three clear stages to our project which are outlined below.

   Application to DfE approval (Achieved)
    o Clarification of vision, education plan and other aspects for the application
    o Building capacity to manage the application
    o Audit capacity needs for managing the next stage (pre-opening)
    o Develop plans for ensuring recruitment and selection of high quality
       leadership and staffing

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                  Hadlow Rural Community School in Context

    o   Model financial plans to ensure viability and affordability
    o   Build support for the proposal from parents and other key stakeholders

   Post Approval to opening (Pre-opening) July 2012 – August 2013
    o Identify support required for key deliverables
    o Prepare outline project plan and timescale with DfE Project Lead
    o Prepare publicity and admissions arrangements
    o Address any capacity gaps in governance
    o Procure additional support required through DfE, PfS and PMES Framework
       or equivalent
    o Recruit high quality Principal appointed (preferably two terms in advance of
       September 2013 opening)
    o Recruit additional high quality staff
    o Ensure all arrangements are in place for signing Funding Agreement
    o Premises planned including FF&E and all educational materials procured

   Post opening to successful operation 1 September 2013 - onwards
    o Ensure all arrangements for running the school are in place including,
       governance, leadership, staffing, induction (staff, pupils and parents)
    o Performance Management arrangements in place and operating
    o Evaluation and reporting arrangements in place

The Wider Context for HRCS
Businesses in the environmental and land based sector enhance the quality of life for
every man, woman and child in England. They improve well-being, supply quality
assured food, ensure the health and welfare of animals, provide leisure activities,
enrich the rural and urban environment and protect out natural heritage. Central to
this is a workforce with a wide range of skills in science, mathematics, ICT and
business. Hadlow Rural Community School (HRCS) will offer a unique curriculum
that will enable both academic and vocational routes from age 11 to 16 and
preparations for the next stage of education through FE, HE, other training and

As a leading agricultural region, the South East of England is expected to play an
increasing role in the supply of food and non-food products. With strong and
growing markets and a highly productive food sector the prospects for the region’s
agri-food sector are very positive.

Kent and Medway have a relatively high concentration of land based and food sector
activity. The sector makes a significant economic contribution to the sub-region and
is an important influence on the both the rural landscape and the tourism and
hospitality sector. There are around 5,500 land based and food business
establishments in Kent and Medway, accounting for around 8% of the local business
base in the area

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                   Hadlow Rural Community School in Context

The Sector Studies Series for Medway and Kent produced by the Learning and Skills
Council (LSC, 2006) profiles the area very clearly. The land based sector in this part
of West Kent is characterised by small businesses with more than three quarters
(76%) of business establishments employing 1 – 10 people. The land based and
food sector has a relatively significant proportion of self-employed workers (30% of
the workforce or 3,700 workers). Both small businesses and the self-employed are
traditionally difficult to engage in workforce development as their first priority is
usually being at work to generate income. The sector also has a larger proportion of
male employees (57%) compared with females (43%) than the all industries average
and an ageing workforce. Widening access and improving the recruitment of young
people to all aspects of the sector are major issues for the future prosperity and
growth of the sector.

Around 41% of the land based and food sector workforce are in sector specific
occupations that are not found in other industries. These sector specific occupations
are more prevalent in the land based sector (53%) compared with food
manufacturing (28%).

Land based and food employers in Kent and Medway are less likely to report unfilled
and hard to fill vacancies than employers across all industries. This results in a less
visible skills gap and a contributory factor in attracting net migration from abroad and
particularly Eastern Europe. Migrant workers are a common resource used to
supplement local workforces especially within heavily seasonal industries such as
agriculture and horticulture. Some 74,280 (10% of total) migrant workers entered the
agricultural industry via the Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) from 2004-2008
although this estimate ignores those working for recruitment agencies / gang
masters (Source: UK Border Agency). Hard to fill vacancies, skill shortages and skill
gaps all appear to be more of an issue within the food manufacturing sub-sector than
in the land base sub-sector. Both continue to be a significant concern particularly in
the context of recently announced very high numbers of unemployed people and
record numbers of young people aged 16 – 24 not in work.

The proposal is supported by Hadlow College. Judged by Ofsted as outstanding,
Hadlow College is one of the three largest land based colleges in the South East of
England. Hadlow has a long and distinguished record in meeting the training and
development needs of the agri-food sector. With both a strong local market and
nationally recognised expertise, Hadlow College is very well placed to establish
Hadlow Rural Community School as a new free school and offer a new curriculum
ideally suited to meeting the needs of the local area and wider community.

Standards in Secondary Schools
Kent operates a selective grammar school system which contributes to overall
performance at GCSE which is just above the average for England although the gap
has narrowed very slightly over the last 4 years. The performance of selective
grammar and faith schools, using published indicators, is consistently above that of
non-selective schools. The standards achieved by most pupils in Kent overall and in

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                   Hadlow Rural Community School in Context

this area of West Kent, are marginally above the average for England (percentage of
pupils achieving 5 or more A*-C grades at GCSE including English and
mathematics). Over 40% of pupils do not achieve this level with most attending non-
selective schools.

The majority of schools offer a curriculum with learning pathways that are academic
with expectations of progression to Further Education (FE), Higher Education and
well paid employment. There is very little provision in selective schools, grammar
and denominational, for pupils with a preference for vocational learning pathways.
There are no opportunities in any of the current schools for pupils wishing to follow
academic or vocational learning pathways within a land based environment. This is
a significant gap in provision which presents barriers to pupils wishing to achieve
professional levels in areas such as veterinary medicine, business administration
and estate management or more practical carers such as animal management and

Hadlow Rural Community School intends to achieve the highest possible
performance across all the published indicators and achieve outstanding in the first
Ofsted inspection and subsequent inspections.

Access, Diversity and Choice
Kent and Medway have a grammar school system in place which remains popular
with many parents. Currently some young people who pass the 11+ do not get
allocated a place. HRCS is non-selective and will offer an alternative choice for all
young people of Kent irrespective of any 11+ participation.
The Secondary school population for Tonbridge and Malling District for 2010/11 is
9,586 although it is common for many secondary pupils to travel some distance from
their home to access the variety of schools on offer in West Kent.

In recent times all local Grammar Schools (7 in all) and a number of local non-
selective schools have been heavily oversubscribed. Parents are concerned about
the intense competition for school places in West Kent and there are high numbers
of appeals cases in most schools in the area. In addition many popular and
successful schools are becoming or planning to become academies and away from
local authority control. This is adding to the uncertainty about admissions in the area.

Although the school population is predicted to drop in Tonbridge and Malling over the
next few years ( 9,347 in 2015) it is predicted by the Local Authority to rise again
after 2015 and to exceed current numbers by 2019 ( population 9,871) which will
increase pressure on local schools to have admissions above their Pupil Admission

Although in 2010/11 83% of pupils in Kent were able to attend one of their schools of
choice a significant number of pupils locally have had to be placed by the Local
Authority in below capacity schools some distance from the Hadlow area with often
difficult transport links. Hadlow is 5 miles from Tonbridge, the most local significant
town along a busy, semi-rural route with limited public transport service. There is no

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                   Hadlow Rural Community School in Context

railway connection close to Hadlow village. Parents have indicated that transport to
the Schools in Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone is a key issue for them
and that they would welcome a more local secondary school.

HRCS will be able to comfortably attract pupils from beyond the District boundary
due to its position and good communication routes. A growing population in the
Kings Hill area has been established in easy access to the Hadlow Campus where
instead of the planned 2,500 homes there are currently 3,437 and there is pressure
to add a third primary school in the community.

In addition HRCS will offer a unique learning environment for the area as well as
providing integrated progression routes through Primary and secondary sectors into
Post 16 and HE programmes. This will make it an attractive offer for pupils and
increase parental choice, especially for those who won’t be in Grammar Schools.

Within a 5 mile radius of Hadlow there are 5 high performing independent secondary
schools. For parents with the economic means these schools remain popular with
parents. There is evidence that in the national economic climate some parents are
no longer able to afford places at fee paying independent schools resulting in
increased pressure on grammar, faith and non-selective maintained schools.

In Tonbridge and Malling there were 151 (4.7%) NEETs (February 2011) and in the
Tunbridge Wells area there are 96 (3.5%). This data supports the view of local
secondary school Headteachers about the need for new and innovative learning
pathways including technical / vocational. The West Kent Learning Federation, the
local partnership group of secondary school Headteachers have given their full
support to the development of HRCS and have expressed their support for the
school in minuted meetings, recognising the opportunity for Year 10 pupils to transfer
from existing provision to the unique provision that HRCS is proposing. The local
Pupil Referral Unit, as a member of the West Kent Learning Federation, supports the
proposal and has been actively engaged in the development of the ethos and
curriculum within the school

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